Rollerblade Market Analysis
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The target market for in-line skates consists of children and young adults. The market can be segmented into children that use in-like skates to engage in play and sport, young adults using the skates for fitness, children and young adults participating in skating competition, and a smaller segment that uses the skate as a means of urban transportation. Rollerblade is the primary competitor in this market and enjoys a 30% market share due to its initial popularization of in-line skating in the United States and other nations that began more than two decades ago. The firm has significant marketing strengths in the following:
- Brand recognition
- Distribution through a dealer network affiliated with its parent company, Technica,
- Developing and sponsoring in-line skating as a competitive sport.
The firm’s promotional effort focuses heavily on driving customers to authorized dealers, with no distribution outside of its dealer network. The firm also heavily promotes new product introductions, even if the product is essentially an improvement on an existing product. Rollerblade has a significant weakness due to the number of times that it been sold in the past decade, which has resulted in frequent changes in marketing strategy and delays in new product development.
The marketing effort for competing in-line skating products should focus heavily on branding and direct sales to consumers in addition to traditional dealer sales channels. In addition, a competitive marketing strategy should include approaching the older adult target market, which Rollerblade largely overlooks. Because the trademark Rollerblade has become synonymous with in-line skating, branding of a competitive product through advertising and promotion is essential to support market penetration. Rollerblade does not advertise heavily, depending on dealers and its existing reputation to support sales.